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Wildfires
9:10 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Smoke, Haze in Southern Colorado Due to Out-of-State Fires

Smoke and haze has moved into Colorado from fires in Arizona. 

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Colorado Traveler: A Sea of Grassland Part One

Comanche National Grasslands
Credit Michael Menefee Fort Photo Flickr

   

   As far as the eye can see, the prairie stretches, endlessly flat until it meets a stark blue sky at the horizon. An occasional dark dot in the distance might be a shrub or a cow, but the dominant gray-green, tan and buff tend to blend into one homogenous hue.

At first glance, Comanche National Grassland in southeastern Colorado is not an exciting place. But first, even second, glances don't do justice to the subtle beauty of this hidden corner of Colorado.

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El Paso County
4:13 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Effort to Recall El Paso County Sheriff Moves Forward

A group seeking to recall embattled El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa received approval from the Clerk and Recorder’s office to begin collecting signatures.  KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin has more.

A resubmitted petition from the group was accepted after an initial effort was rejected on the grounds that it didn’t meet legal standards.  According to the Clerk’s office, backers need to gather more than 44,000 signatures to recall Sheriff Maketa in November. 

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The MIddle Distance
9:13 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.13.14: Tea In My Neighbor's Garden

Credit Kathryn Eastburn

I wasn’t a tea party kind of girl, back before the term was appropriated by right-wing politicos. When we played house as kids in the early 1960s, I portrayed the husband, pecking the wife on the cheek and jetting off to work or adventure as I imagined men did. A beautifully set table with dainty cups and manners to match held little charm for this tomboy.

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El Paso County
6:34 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Critics, Supporters Rally at El Paso County Sheriff's Department

Critics of Sheriff Terry Maketa holds a sign outside the El Paso County Sheriff's Department
Tucker Hampson KRCC

A handful of residents gathered outside the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department Thursday afternoon in downtown Colorado Springs to show their disapproval of Sheriff Terry Maketa. Maketa faces allegations of wrongdoing, including creating a hostile workplace, sexual discrimination, and budget mismanagement.  Those protesters were met by others who support the embattled sheriff.
 

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Black Forest Fire
5:39 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Black Forest Fire: Lessons Applied, Lessons Learned, Cause Undetermined

Burned trees abut a road in the Black Forest fire burn area. Picture taken 06/21/13.
Credit Andrea Chalfin / KRCC

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office released a report looking at the response to the Black Forest Fire Tuesday, nearly one year to the day after the devastating fire began. 
 

The After Action Report [.pdf] details what went right during last year’s fire, and where there’s room for improvement.  Maketa said they applied lessons learned from the previous year’s Waldo Canyon event, including providing a quicker flow of information to those displaced.

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El Paso County
4:20 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

EPC Sheriff Maketa Vows to Stay On; Says 'Distractions' will not Hinder Dept. Operations

Credit Staff Photo / El Paso County

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa restated his plans to remain in office despite an investigation into alleged wrongdoings.  As KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports, the comments came during an unrelated press conference on the Black Forest Fire.

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Environment
10:50 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Climate March Stops in Colorado Springs

Climate change activists marching from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. are stopping in Colorado Springs Tuesday. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

A core group of about 35 people is marching the entire way, with other supporters joining in for smaller distances. The goal is to inspire action and discussion about climate change.

Chris Ververis is coordinating activities in Colorado. He says the 8-month march helps spread the word and helps citizens feel as though they have a voice.

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Public Safety
4:26 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

CUSP: A Call for Volunteers for Cascade-area Flood Mitigation Work

The Coalition for the Upper South Platte is looking for volunteers to help with flood mitigation projects along Highway 24 this month. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

Volunteers are needed to help seed land and create sediment catchment basins in Cascade. These projects are intended to slow or redirect water to help protect against erosion and reduce the risk of property damage. Lisa Patton is the volunteer coordinator for CUSP. Patton says the Waldo Canyon burn scar is already suffering.

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Elections
3:47 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Two GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate

Four Republicans are vying to be the lone candidate to run against Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper in the fall. But with the primary election coming up on June 24th, only two of the candidates participated in a taped debate hosted by CBS 4 and Colorado Public Television. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

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The Big Something
3:42 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Senga Nengudi Has Arrived, And She's Been Here All Along.

Colorado Springs-based artist, educator and activist Senga Nengudi hasn’t had much in the way of local recognition despite the fact she’s been collected by The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Brooklyn Museum. Denver has just given Nengudi her due with two openings at both the Museum of Contemporary Art and The Redline Gallery. We spoke with her about her career and the success she’s now enjoying.

Watch RSVP:

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Wildfires
2:05 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

New Estimates Show Black Forest Fire as 2nd Most Costly in CO

Credit Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Next Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary since the start of the massive Black Forest Fire. The blaze scorched over 14,000 acres, destroyed around 500 homes and killed two people.

The non-profit Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says after revised estimates of loss, the fire is now the second-costliest wildfire in state history.

RMIAA director Carole Walker says the initial estimate of $292 million has been increased to $420 million dollars in losses. 

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The Middle Distance
5:47 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.6.14: Those Long, Parentless Days

In summer, we spent all day every day at the playground, risking, if not life, then certainly limb. Arms, legs, knees, elbows, ankles, wrists, necks, eyes, ears, noses, teeth and toes. We scrambled from monkey bars to swings to merry-go-round; dodgeball to kickball to horseshoes; through sudden afternoon thunderstorms, grueling heat, and swirling clouds of pale dust churned up by hundreds of flip-flopped, bare and tennis-shoed feet.

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The Big Something
5:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Remembering The Execution of Joe Arridy

This Saturday at The Greenwood Cemetery in Canon City at 11 a.m., a memorial service will be held for Joe Arridy , a developmentally disabled man who was executed for murder in 1936, and posthumously pardoned in 2011. We spoke with Craig Severa, Advocacy Specialist from the ARC of the Pikes Peak Region, about Arridy’s legacy.

For complete information about the Joe Arridy memorial service this Saturday, click HERE.

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Public Safety
4:35 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Manitou Springs to Test Emergency Siren

Manitou Springs is conducting a full-scale test of their emergency siren tomorrow (Thursday). KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports. 

The siren test is planned for 12:00 noon. It’ll play a high and low tone and a spoken message indicating it’s only a test.

The siren system is housed at city hall and is intended to help residents be aware of when there’s an emergency and to instruct them in what to do. The siren has specific alert messages to warn citizens for each type of incident.

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Colorado Traveler
12:30 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park: “The Great Lone Land”

Credit Wikipedia

  Long before the tourists came, before the roads were built and the trails improved, an intrepid Englishwoman explored the vastness of what is now Rocky Mountain National Park.

Isabella Bird’s sojourn came in the fall of 1873 and winter of 1874, not long after the mountain man and before the area’s first ranches were established.

She recorded her impressions for posterity in one of my favorite books, “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains,” waxing poetic about the pristine landscape and vividly describing the hardships she encountered. She wrote:

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A Sense of Place
10:47 am
Wed June 4, 2014

A Sense of Place, Episode 4: The Fire Isn't Over

Credit Sarah Stockdale

“The fire isn’t over until restoration is complete” is a catch-phrase that has been floating around Colorado Springs ever since our two most recent fires in 2012 and 2013. But what exactly is “restoration”? When will it be complete? And what is our role in the fight to mitigate future fires? In this episode of “A Sense of Place,” producer Sarah Stockdale takes us on a journey up highway 24 to the Waldo Canyon burn scar, to speak with Theresa Springer of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte, and Eric Perramond, associate professor of Southwest Studies at Colorado College.

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Arkansas River
5:26 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Section of Arkansas River Restricted Due to High Waters, Strong Currents

Credit Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A two-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near Salida continues to remain restricted due to dangerous conditions. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

Recent high waters and a new diversion structure in the river have raised safety concerns near Silver Bullet Boat Chute near Johnson Village. The diversion structure is creating unusually strong currents, and the reentry point on the portage trail that’s used to allow boaters to go around the chute is currently impassable due to high water levels. The area is restricted to only whitewater kayaks and canoes.

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Waldo Canyon
5:28 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

US Forest Service Extends Waldo Canyon Closure

Map of ongoing closures on U.S. Forest Service land due to 2012's Waldo Canyon fire.
Credit U.S. Forest Service

Forest Service land closed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire will remain restricted for some time. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The US Forest Service has extended closure orders, saying the canyon requires more maintenance and time to re-grow. The area to remain closed includes the Waldo Canyon Trail along Highway 24. Work there is expected to continue through the summer. There is a maximum 5,000 dollar fine in place for trespassing in the closed areas.

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Public Safety
8:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Wildfire in Huerfano County Prompts Evacuations

UPDATE (Monday, 06/02 8:00 PM):  All evacuation orders have been lifted; the fire is 100% contained. Mop up will continue and the area will be monitored over the next several days.

UPDATE (Monday, 06/02 11:45 AM): Huerfano County Emergency Dispatch says residents north of Twin Ridge Dr. on Four Mile Canyon Road to CR 312 may return.  Residents south of Twin Ridge Dr. on Four Mile Canyon Rd. are still under an evacuation notice.  The fire is 80% contained, with a burn area of 15 acres.

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El Paso County
5:10 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

El Paso County Commissioners Vote 'No Confidence' in Sheriff; Seek Resignation

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa/Bio Photo
Credit Staff Photo / El Paso County

El Paso County Commissioners gave a unanimous vote of 'no confidence' to Sheriff Terry Maketa today, and asked for his resignation after allegations of misconduct.  KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports.
 

Commissioners say the vote isn’t about guilt or innocence and that investigations into employee complaints and allegations including sexual discrimination, budget mismanagement, and a hostile work environment are underway.

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The Middle Distance
4:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.30.14: The Best Kind of Cowboy

Kirk Hanna and Geronimo, by Myron Wood, May 1962. Courtesy of PPLD Special Collections. Image Number: 002-6082.

My heroes haven’t always been cowboys, but after moving to Colorado and getting to know a choice few, that changed. I was lucky as a journalist to spend time with Duke Phillips of Chico Basin Ranch, south of Colorado Springs, and witness his dedication to responsible land management and conservation. And I was privileged as a reporter back in the 1990s to hear Kirk Hanna explain to a room full of environmentalists how ranchers like him could help them achieve their goals if they’d just put aside their stereotypes and prejudices.

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The Middle Distance
4:38 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.30.14: The Best Kind of Cowboy

Kirk Hanna and Geronimo, by Myron Wood, May 1962. Courtesy of PPLD Special Collections. Image Number: 002-6082.

My heroes haven’t always been cowboys, but after moving to Colorado and getting to know a choice few, that changed. I was lucky as a journalist to spend time with Duke Phillips of Chico Basin Ranch, south of Colorado Springs, and witness his dedication to responsible land management and conservation. And I was privileged as a reporter back in the 1990s to hear Kirk Hanna explain to a room full of environmentalists how ranchers like him could help them achieve their goals if they’d just put aside their stereotypes and prejudices.

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Air Force Academy
5:02 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Public Meeting: Air Force Academy's Planned Airfield Changes

The United States Air Force Academy is planning to change its airfield operations this summer. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The proposed changes include reopening Bullseye Airfield near Ellicot and extending a northern departure route that would allow leaving aircraft to reach 1000 feet along Baptist Road before passing over other populated areas. According to the Academy, this is expected to reduce noise levels by approximately 30%. The changes are expected to take effect in June.

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Wildfire Mitigation
4:45 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Upper Monument Creek Mitigation Informational Meetings

Area residents looking for more information on a planned wildfire mitigation project in the Upper Monument Creek area are invited to public meetings. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.

The proposed mitigation project on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests looks to treat about 25,000 acres of land in El Paso, Douglas, and Teller counties.

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Public Safety
10:12 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Rains, Flash Flood Warning Prompt Hwy 24 Closure and Red Cross Shelter Opening

UPDATE:  The Red Cross Shelter has closed as of 11:23 PM.  Highway 24 has reopened.

Original post:

The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Manitou Springs for those affected by potential flooding tonight, Friday, May 23. It's at the Historic Manitou Congregational Church, 103 Pawnee Ave.

The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a flash flood warning until 11:15 tonight for northwestern Pueblo County, northeastern Custer County, Teller County, and western El Paso and eastern Fremont Counties.

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El Paso County
4:27 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

EPC Sheriff Faces Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior

El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa is facing allegations of inappropriate behavior, including creating a hostile work environment and sexual discrimination.  Several department commanders say the sheriff had affairs with three subordinates, abused those who questioned the alleged relationships, and removed all oversight of the department's $60 million budget.  

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Connecting the Drops
3:52 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Water Conservation on the Minds of Colorado Brewers

Credit clipart

With over 200 breweries and brewpubs, Colorado is one of top beer producers in the country.  All that beer requires a lot of water.  Brewers large and small are working to conserve the precious liquid that is crucial to creating the other precious liquid.

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The Middle Distance
8:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.23.14: Dives Under

She wakes up swimming. The ambient noise machine next to the bed is set on Rushing Stream. She surfaces to the sound of its loud electronic burble and, for a minute, can’t remember where she is.

It’s that kind of morning. The coffee maker sputters and spumes, the waiting pot barely askew on its fitted stand but just enough for a steady stream of brown liquid to miss its mouth and inch across the kitchen counter. She wipes the dark water and spilled grounds with a stained dishcloth that needs to be retired to the trash.

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The Middle Distance
10:50 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.16.14: Enough to Keep Wonder Alive

Credit Photo by Kathryn Eastburn

Every Monday night I drive home from Denver after an evening of teaching. Strangely, it is a highlight of the week. Once I’ve gotten far enough south of the blue lights of Ikea, I can finally see the sky about half way to Castle Rock. The road opens up in gentle curves with just a few cars cruising at the leisurely pace of 9 p.m. The radio drones on, a TED talk that makes me weary about all I don’t know and the irritating sputter of the jittery host, so I switch it off. By now I’ve reached the other side of Castle Rock and a window of near darkness above Larkspur.

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